MELINDA CARR HEMMELGARN, M,S., R.D.

Freelance writer, inspirational speaker, award-winning columnist & radio host.
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Accounting for Health Care in Atlanta

Just back from the Association of Health Care Journalists meeting in Atlanta, GA (thanks to support from the MO Foundation for Health). Terrific meeting as always featuring some of our nation's best investigative health writers, creative news producers and health care providers. (Stay tuned to Food Sleuth Radio for upcoming related interviews, now on Public Radio Exchange: http://www.prx.org/series/32432-food-sleuth-radio ).
Meeting highlights included Former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady, Rosalyn, who called for equal access to mental and physical health care, and expanding Medicare for all. The couple, married 66 years, work globally to eradicate chronic diseases simply by building latrines and helping rural communities access clean water. Oh the simple public health measures we take for granted.
Atlanta is home to the American Cancer Society headquarters, a HUGE building, which ironically sits just steps away from Coca Cola World. Adding to the irony: Otis Brawley, M.D. Chief Medical Officer at ACS, delivered a keynote speech in which he identified "obesity, bad diet, and tobacco" as the leading threats to our nation's health. 
And while Brawley reports that $111 million was spent last year on ovarian cancer research, and $600 million on breast cancer research, Advertising Age statistics show that Coca Cola spent $752 million on advertising their brands, including: Coke, Powerade, and Sprite. Go figure.
Brawley identified drug price scandals, medical fraud, and rising health care costs as dominating our nation's economic collapse. In case you think U.S. health care is the best, consider this: according to Brawley, we spend $8,000 per person per year on health care yet we rank 50th in global life expectancy. Switzerland ranks 4th in life expectancy and spends only $4,000 per person. 
Think critically, see the irony, and eat well!
Melinda

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